Caprice Young, Michael Horn, Pensions, A Political Moment, A Simpsons Moment

Caprice Young talks with Bellwether’s Katie Rouse.

The new 2021 Ed Next poll is out. Always worth reading. My general sense based on all the data from various sources is that there is a coalition of the pissed, a lot of otherwise down the line progressive parents sound like Pinkteron agents, and there is a lot of interest and support for more parent agency.

What there is not? A big push to capitalize on the moment. A lot of philanthropic leaders seem more interested in policing whether we call this crisis “learning loss” or “unfinished learning” or burnishing various brands rather than seizing a fleeting political opportunity to empower parents and make a judo-like move to convert this energy into some change that empowers parents more – especially Black, Hispanic, and low-income parents. In other words, to turn that energy into action and activate more parents. Absent concerted activity things will regress to the mean because people have a lot on their plate and more importantly just want to live their lives. That stability versus change issue is an important dynamic and while you’ll see some change just as a byproduct of disruption, how broad it is hinges on how much organized advocacy and political activity supports it.

ICYMI yesterday, we ranked state teacher retirement plans. Go SD! IL do better. But there is a lot more than that in terms of how various aspects of these plans do and don’t work for teachers and taxpayers.

Tom Edsall asks which way we’re going on building a multiracial society.

Accountability for alternative schools is a bit of a Goldilocks problem. If you adhere to standardized accountability it’s a bad fit for some schools that have a unique mission. The nation’s first charter school, for instance, was established to serve students who had already dropped out of high school. Normal metrics for gradation rates wouldn’t really work in that case.

On the other hand, if you just say, ‘well these schools are unique, anything goes’ that creates two problems. One, you get a lot of arguments that all schools are unique etc…and education politics being what it is the result can be loopholes. Or, you get loopholes that allow a lot of alternative schools to skirt any real accountability. Texas had to address exactly this problem a few years back.

It’s actually an interesting problem. And just as most great historical thinkers took a stab at what the ideal education system would look like, most people who think about education take a stab at ideal alternative accountability systems. Anyway, that’s all by way of saying here’s Michael Horn’s idea, which is timely given the rapid growth of alternative options right now.

Video of the day. If you are a certain kind of person this might make you feel better about today’s generation of kids. If not, then ay, caramba!